7

Today happens to be father's day in Finland, and I would like to know how to express that in Latin. My understanding is that ancient Romans did not have a father's day, so the question is about translation. How should I say "father's day in Latin" and why?

Dies patris is one way to put it, but perhaps dies patrius would be better. What adjective should I use if using one is better than going with the genitive? Should dies be masculine or feminine in this use? Or should I express it in some other way?

  • If you go with the genitive, I would say dies patrium, because it is a day for all fathers. – Benjamin McAvoy-Bickford May 28 '17 at 10:15
  • @BenjaminMcAvoy-Bickford Weirdly enough, in Finnish we have father's day (singular) and mothers' day (plural). I can understand both singular and plural, but perhaps plural is indeed a little more natural. – Joonas Ilmavirta May 28 '17 at 14:16
8

Holidays were festivals and marked by an adjectival form in the neuter plural. Based on similar festivals, it would probably be patralia. Compare similar examples:

  • Saturnalia, the festival of Saturnus
  • Parentalia, the festival commemorating your ancestors
  • Parilia, founding date of Rome
  • 1
    Ingenious! Presumably for a rite dedicated to a god Patuta? – Tom Cotton Nov 14 '16 at 15:16
4

I like to keep these things snappy and simple. Dies patribus — a day for fathers — expresses the spirit of the occasion and will answer in most situations.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.